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Daugherty v. White

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah

November 29, 2017

WILLIAM J. DAUGHERTY PLAINTIFF
v.
WARDEN RANDY WHITE DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          THOMAS B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         This is a civil rights action brought by a convicted prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff William J. Daugherty leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the action will be dismissed.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff brings this action against Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP) Warden Randy White in his individual capacity.

         In his complaint, Plaintiff states as follows:

Cruel and Unusual Punishment . . . On 6/28/2017, three dorms was let out at the same time, and everyone was trying to get in the canteen line, and then out of nowhere corrections staff came upon us and started to push inmates around, they didn't ask anyone to move, they just push who ever was in there way at the that time, so the inmates started to push back, that is when the fight broke out on the institution yard, between inmate and correction staff. It was then that everyone was place on lock down, we were told by a cert team, that for the next 10 days, there will be no phone call, and not letters sent out to anyone, that is when everything became crazy on the institution we could not understand why so many were being punished for what so few done, then came the threats upon everyone, the cert team stood in my face and said he will beat my head in if he thought I was trying to remember who said what to me, then I was push into a wall and call a coward because I wouldn't jump on the cert team, like it was said, they done to corrections staff, I tried to explain to the cert team that I was not involved in the fight, I was told that before it was over, I was going to wish I had been involved, then we were told that every time a inmate jumps on correction staff, one hundred would pay for it with blood . . . then they started to degrade me and inmbarrased me before Aramark staff which were women for reasons I still don't understand, and then the Senior Caption Will Thomas said this is not cruel and unusual punishment, it is called getting back at a lot of you inmates who thought you could jump on correction staff and get away with it, so understand what it feel like, all of you, and it don't matter if you were involved or not . . .
For everyone who believe they are being done wrong by the cert team that the warden brought on the institution, they need to stand up and say so. Everyone who spoke up, was place in segregation and beat up, and told that no one cares about what you inmates think, but all of you need to understand something right now, you all are being punishment for what took place on this institution, something in which you all started, so understand why we are here, we came to hurt you inmates, just like you thought you had done to correct staff, and it will not stop until the Warden no longer wants to see just how frightened you all became . . .
And for the first ten days of this lock down we were lock down for 24 hours, not letting us out for anything, Warden Randy White could have stop this, but chose to look over it, 63 days of lockdown for what some else done.

         As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Because Plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief against governmental entities, officers, and/or employees, this Court must review the instant action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under § 1915A, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See § 1915A(b)(1), (2); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

         “[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)). “[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). However, while liberal, this standard of review does require more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions. See Columbia Natural Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th Cir. 1995). The Court's duty “does not require [it] to conjure up unpled allegations, ” McDonald v. Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a claim for Plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975). To command otherwise would require the Court “to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a party.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).

         III. ANALYSIS

         “Section 1983 creates no substantive rights, but merely provides remedies for deprivations of rights established elsewhere.” Flint ex rel. Flint v. Ky. Dep't of Corr.,270 F.3d 340, 351 (6th Cir. 2001). Two elements are required to state a claim under § 1983.Gomez v. Toledo, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995) “[A] plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 ...


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